[ eBook ] Wife of the ChefAuthor Courtney Febbroriello – Schematicwiringdiagram.co

Wife of the Chef is at once a no holds barred memoir of restaurant life and a revealing look at married life For Courtney Febbroriello, the two are intertwined She and her husband own an American bistro in Connecticut He's the chef, so naturally he gets all the credit She has the role of keeping things running, but she's the wife, so she remains anonymous or invisible or both.Febbroriello comes front and center here, detailing the everyday challenges she faces—taking over dish washing duty, bailing waiters out of jail, untangling the immigration laws, cajoling lazy suppliers, handling unreasonable customers, and a host of other emergency duties She pokes fun at people who take food and wine—and the chef—too seriously, with witty comments on everything from chef envy to the much ballyhooed James Beard Awards.Spiced with a healthy spoonful of feminism and enriched with a cup of humor, Wife of the Chef is the tastiest dish of the season.From the Hardcover edition.


10 thoughts on “Wife of the Chef

  1. Mary Joy Mary Joy says:

    This book is awful.

    I didn't finish reading it, a rare thing. This book is just plain awful.

    The writing, quite frankly, sucks. The writer, quite frankly, doesn't know how to write: the day-to-day ins and outs of a restaurant through the eyes of a chef's wife could have, would have, but ultimately was not written well here.

    The author does not like food, and her interest in it is superficial, forced, and pretentious. I'm just as puzzled as her staff regarding her "vegetarianism": she eats eggs, yogurt, milk, cream, butter (the last 3 in whipped potatoes) and cheese (in risotto). She carries her vegetarian label as a badge of honor, when really she should call herself an ovo-lacto vegetarian, or, a convenient vegetarian. She talks to the reader condescendingly about fleur de sel, saffron, and caviar, but is grossed out by sea urchins and grasshoppers. She insults another food author whose memories were tied to truffles by saying, "Yes, he got all that from a stinky fungus." She thinks her husband is strange for needing to kill an animal for food, and only when she reads about Thomas Keller's experience in The French Laundry Cookbook does she feel relief. Yes, because Keller as soul searcher has a valid reason but not her husband. Ah.

    Her comment about ethnic markets is what stopped me from reading this book: "I can't even imagine what it must be like to eat seaweed or bugs." She shows her ignorance and disrespect of food preferences. How terribly, terribly sad and ugly.

    Please. Don't read this drivel. Find a better book about the restaurant experience, one that glorifies food, one that is true to vegetarianism, one that respects other cultures and ethnicities. And more: find a book that's actually engaging by an author who knows how to write.


  2. melanie (lit*chick) melanie (lit*chick) says:

    It's definitely a different perspective on the behind the scenes restaurant world. I gave it two stars because it was interesting. I wanted to give it one star because the author's tone seemed to be childish- whiny & complaining. When she made a mistake she blamed it on someone else. She resents her husband's talent and doesn't even eat his food (she's a vegetarian and seems to take pride in being so contrary).
    Her job doesn't seem much different than that of a stay at home mom (overworked, underappreciated,little glory), except for the part where she doesn't seem to EVER love what she does. She is also very clear to point out that it's just a job.
    I know several people with restaurants who have the gift of hospitality and really enjoy their work (grumpy, rude customers aside). She doesn't seem to be one of them.
    I'd be curious to hear from anyone else who read it.


  3. Nytetyger Nytetyger says:

    Wow, someone woke up, had a nice bracing PITCHER of Carnation Instant Bitch and decided SHE was going to tell everyone how hard life was being the woman behind the chef at a semi successful restaurant. She is smarter, more refined, works harder, and is just plain BETTER than everyone around her—it must be tiring dealing with us weaker mortals while she is on whatever caused her time away from Olympus, where OBVIOUSLY she belongs.

    The sad part is that the information in the book was fascinating, once you ignored her pomposity. I had an interest in eating in her place, but after reading this, no thank you… I’m just… just not GOOD enough to be her customer.


  4. Daniela Hindman-williams Daniela Hindman-williams says:

    It's all true. As the wife of a chef and someone who worked in the industry for many, many years, I can attest to the truth of these pages. It did not get 5 stars because it read more like a dry- impersonal essay.


  5. Nanaz Nanaz says:

    Interesting. It gives you a real insider’s view on how hard the restaurant business can be. I liked the writer and all the characters in the book. It was well
    written and I couldn’t put it down


  6. Jennifer Jennifer says:

    I confess that I read this book quite a while ago (probably 10+ years ago), so the details are a little hazy. But the idea of the book stayed with me after all this time--so it must have made an impression on me (and books that make an impression or worth reading!). I remembered that I liked the book because the author chose to tell a life story backwards--starting at the end and moving toward birth. I remember being intrigued by this idea so I bought it. When preparing to write this little description, I went to Amazon.com to refresh my memory on the details and then it started coming back to me bit by bit. The person whose story the author choose to tell is a Nazi. Obviously, this is not just any old character and life, but one charged with significance and loaded with provocation. Because I don't think I could accurately write the description of how the book works, I'm borrowing the quick description from the Amazon.com review: "He puts two separate consciousnesses into the person of one man, ex-Nazi doctor Tod T. Friendly. One identity wakes at the moment of Friendly's death and runs backwards in time, like a movie played in reverse, (e.g., factory smokestacks scrub the air clean,) unaware of the terrible past he approaches. The "normal" consciousness runs in time's regular direction, fleeing his ignominious history." I remember being filled with dread and anticipation of how the one identity was going to confront the truth of his past. It is a thought-provoking read and, again, does an interesting job of playing with time.


  7. Julie Davis Julie Davis says:

    #65 - 2010.

    I seem to remember having read this long ago. Just began it but if nothing else you will appreciate how very un-busy your life seems in comparison to that of a restaurant owner-chef. A standard behind-the-scenes in the restaurant business book. However, the frantic pace of the text covering one mishap and frantic problem after another serves to make one wonder how they remain in business or even married. I blame the editor for this as if the author had slowed down occasionally for some thoughtful pondering and appreciation of the positive aspects of this restaurant life then the readers would have been able to see she had more than one note. I understand why some reviewers thought she was angry and complaining all the time. I believe much of it is an attempt at self-deprecating humor with the eye of sharing all with the reader. However, it does not come off well and an entire book full of it is wearying.


  8. Tom Cain Tom Cain says:

    I enjoyed reading this book. It wasn't very long (under 300 pages), but it gave an insiders view of the restaurant industry. If anyone thinks they can open a restaurant and make a pile of money in the first year; read this book. Courtney describes the long hours, the staff, the finances and the customers. Her view as owner/hostess/employee is probably the most honest of these type of books out there. I was shocked when I read that she and her husband lived in a rented apartment, because they could not afford to buy a house. The restaurant always came first. She writes in a manner describes the overview of the industry. And hers is a successful restaurant!
    I emailed Courtney; telling her I enjoyed her book and promised to stop in and order a meal if I ever was in Connecticut. Surprisingly, she replied back within 24 hours thanking me! How cool is that! Reading this book will not be a disappointment. I recommend it.


  9. Rogue Reader Rogue Reader says:

    Unusual treatment of both the front and back of the house, thanks to Courtney Febbroriello, wife of chef Chris Prosperi, and co-owner of Metro Bis in Salisbury, Connecticut. Seems impossible to balance the two, to bridge the two and to acknowledge that the celebrity chef will be center stage. It's clear that Febbroriello runs the restaurant, providing the structure, organization and financial know-how to keep the place running and seats filled. It's clear that Febbroriello and Prosperi are a team, in life and in work. A delight really to read and to think about. Always respectful, always loving, always honest. What a pleasing contrast to A Chef's Life, where Vivian is often rude and unkind to her husband.

    Required reading for anyone in the industry, and those even considering a relationship with a food worker.

    --Ashland Mystery


  10. Ashley Ashley says:

    Started off great - engaging, fast-paced - but started to lose steam shortly thereafter. There was no real structure or flow to the book, so while the anecdotes were interesting, it felt a bit aimless and disjointed. Also, the author focused almost exclusively on work; there were very few personal details shared, which really kept the story at an arm's length.

    I did like the behind the scenes view from the more business-oriented side of the restaurant, since that's the author's main role. It was a new perspective for me and definitely made me appreciate how difficult operating a restaurant can be.

    Overall, while it was an quick and fairly interesting read, it was ultimately forgettable.